Pheme

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In Greek mythology, Pheme (pronounced /ˈfeɪmeɪ/ FAY-may; Greek: Φήμη, Roman equivalent: Fama) was the personification of fame and renown, her favour being notability, her wrath being scandalous rumors. She was a daughter either of Gaia or of Hope, was described as "she who initiates and furthers communication" and had an altar at Athens. A tremendous gossip, Pheme was said to have pried into the affairs of mortals and gods, then repeated what she learned, starting off at first with just a dull whisper, but repeating it louder each time, until everyone knew. In art, she was usually depicted with wings and a trumpet[citation needed].

In Roman mythology, Fama ("rumor") was described as having multiple tongues, eyes, ears and feathers by Virgil (in Aeneid IV line 180 and following) and other authors. She is also described as living in a home with 1000 windows so she could hear all being said in the world. Virgil wrote that she "had her feet on the ground, and her head in the clouds, making the small seem great and the great seem greater."

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Linguistic associations

The Greek word pheme translates to English as "fame", or "rumor" depending on its context. English words such as fame are also born from the Latin word fama ("report"), similar to the Latin fari ("to speak").

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